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What’s the Story on the “Gummy Bear” Breast Implants?
The term “gummy bear” breast implants has been used in the public realm for several years now yet most people know little about them. What they have heard is that they are the latest type of silicone breast implant and something that they may just want to have for their breast augmentation or breast reconstruction.
You might have wondered: “Exactly what are these breast implants and why are they named after a candy?”
You may even be thinking: “Can I have them for my surgery?”
“Gummy bear” implants are a new generation of silicone breast implants that have some of the characteristics of the candy that they were nicknamed after – though they are not also edible! These implants differ from all earlier versions in that they are composed of a very highly cohesive and form-stable (maintains their shape) gel that resembles the candy though softer.
These 5th generation breast implants have been used elsewhere around the world for breast augmentations and reconstructions since the early 1990’s. They have been extensively researched for years including in large clinical trials but have not yet been cleared by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) for usage here in the United States although approval may be imminent. (Note: Plastic surgeons here in the United States have been hearing this for several years now – and we are still waiting!)
These new silicone breast implants do offer at least a few advantages over the current cohesive silicone gel ones (as well as some disadvantages). They have been noted to be more durable and last longer and the potential of the silicone gel migrating elsewhere is close to zero. The risk of developing hardness around the implants known as capsular contracture has been found to be lower, around an incidence of 3% as compared to 5 – 10% or more with previous generations of silicone implants.
A definite disadvantage of these “gummy bear” implants is the cost which is expected to be significantly more expensive than those that are used now. Whether this difference is an additional several hundred dollars or much more is not known as of yet. Their increased cost will definitely have some effect on their popularity and selection. Ultimately, however, several factors will play a role in influencing each woman’s decision regarding which type of silicone breast implant is right for her.
For more information on silicone gel breast implants, breast augmentation surgery or for any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule a consultation with me, please call my office at 480-451-3000.
Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona